by Charmain Carrol
It is almost the end of Christmas day, I’m in the lounge with my new found family, and we are seven in the house listening to music, dancing, singing, drawing and writing. I guess doing the things we all love to do best. Overall we are all united and Happy. Just note that the people I’m with are not blood related to me, except my daughter of cause.
Just had a moment to reflect on my day; woke up to the sms sent by my biological sister, requesting airtime: no merry Christmas or anything. It hurts!
I woke up with the family I have created or become a part of. People that I can express myself to and not be ashamed to be who I am. Persons who are by my side and always there even when I’m down.
With that said, I prioritized a visit to see a fellow activist and a friend at Pholosong Hospital, East Rand. The only thing he asked for was a “Blue Energade and a piece of cake.” The saddest thing is that not many friends were there to share that special day with him.
At 2:40 pm I left the pots in the capable hands of Yaya Mavundla and Sebenzile Nkosi and rushed to pick up a colleague at Carlton Centre so we can be at hospital in the East Rand by 4pm. Unfortunately those are visiting hours even on Christmas day.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude to have good health as we walked towards the ward.
I could not say the same for Muntu Masombuka, who is plugged on to an oxygen machine. He could not finish a sentence without taking four breathes into his oxygen. I could not stop thinking of him during happier times, also at the forefront of the gay movement. Last time I saw him looking healthy was on the 5th October 2013 at People’s Pride in Constitution Hill. To look at him all swollen, I had to constantly keep my tears back. I guess I needed to be strong for him.
We gave him the goodies we had brought, somehow there was a bit of a smile that came through the oxygen mask.
I had the opportunity to meet his sister Joyce, for the first time. Sadly we met at an awkward period, at the hospital to see a loved one.
She is disappointed that ‘when days are dark, friends are few.’ As she looked at us and even continued by saying that none of the activists’ friends who lived and partied with Muntu come to see him at Pholosong hospital which is a mere 13km away from KwaThema.
We drove 50km from Johannesburg to Tsakane and it was not painful. I mean we know Muntu and he needed us more today than any other day.
Now I keep on asking myself questions.
Where is solidarity?
When is it active?
Who gets the privilege to access it when it is needed the most by stranded/ sick activists like Muntu?
Do we really have to wait for our fellow activists to die before we take action/ honour them/ show them love,care and support?
After the hospital visit we then drove to Springs to visit our colleague Lerato Dumse and family.
As we walked in, there were kids in the yard dancing to the music being played next door. Lerato greeted us with lunch and dessert, as we were introduced to most of her family in the house.
I must say it was a different atmosphere from where we had been.
I just had to adjust and be in the moment. It was such a pleasure being around the family considering the fact that I have no connections with mine on this day.
As I sit at a place I call home and chew on my food prepared with love processing my day. I feel humbled and honoured to have the Inkanyiso team in my life and to call them Family.
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